By PETER CALLAHAN, Peter Callahan Catering
Many couples don’t realize how many ways there are to put their own personal stamp on their wedding dinner. It can actually be overwhelming for some brides and grooms. But the best way to approach the menu planning is by thinking of your guests. Most guests enjoy being served classic food for their wedding dinners. At Peter Callahan Catering we take a contemporary approach to classic and our inspiration comes from the ingredients themselves. The ingredients are the real stars of the menu! The best approach is taking luxurious seasonal ingredients and creating a flavorful plate of contrasting flavors, textures and colors while doing as little as possible in altering the ingredients.
When planning the entire wedding dinner menu, we begin with the entree. There are so many protein choices to consider and certainly a good steak is always popular. We serve all cuts of beef, including delicious short ribs. A beef short rib should have a rich glaze to coat the short ribs like lacquer, a celery root puree can be the perfect accompaniment to go with it but adding some crunchy colorful vegetables provides lightness to the whole dish.
We also serve a variety of elegant fish entrees on our wedding menus. But we like the fish to have a crispy skin when appropriate to the type of fish, plated up with a light flavorful sauce to let the fish flavor shine through rather than buried by an overwhelming sauce. Some of our favorite fish and seafood entrees include halibut, Dover sole and Black Sea Bass. And, bonus, most fresh, seasonal vegetables pair well with fish and maintain the purity of the entree.
Once the main course for the dinner is determined, we turn our attention to the first course. If our bride and groom, and/or their parents, have chosen a beef entree we suggest serving a dramatic seafood first course. Such as a seared Tuna Tower with micro greens.
If our client has chosen a fish entree as their main course, we may keep the entire meal light and bright by putting a vegetable first course before it. A vibrant heirloom tomato and grilled watermelon salad can be fabulous, particularly when paired with crispy parmesan flatbread.
There’s no question that the wedding cake is the star dessert of the night. But when it comes to finishing the wedding meal, we like to turn to something elegantly simple for sweet finale. An apple tarte tatin, which is an upside-down flaky tart with apples that are caramelized in butter and sugar, served warm with vanilla ice cream is a great classic dessert.
When food is generally the biggest cost you’re going to face when planning your wedding, it’s worth it to consider what will reflect your own tastes, but far more important to think about what will make your friends and family comfortable. Classic foods do that, and do it beautifully.
Peter Callahan of Peter Callahan Catering